EMDR Research Foundation

  • The EMDR Research Foundation is the only organization worldwide dedicated to the study of EMDR therapy.

  • Founded, in 2006, the EMDR Research Foundation is a registered 501c3 dedicated to the promotion of quality, unbiased research in EMDR therapy. In an effort to inform, strengthen and expand the understanding and effective use of EMDR, ultimately the Foundation enhances the quality of life for people everywhere by facilitating healing, health and well-being.

  • EMDR therapy is an evidence-based psychotherapy effective in the treatment of a variety of symptoms and conditions; research is essential for expanding our understanding and application of EMDR therapy for different populations and issues.

  • The Foundation website is designed to provide a wealth of information to researchers, donors, therapists and the public.

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President's Message

EMDR Therapy Saves Lives

WendyFreitagThe EMDR Research Foundation is excited to announce our 2017 Fundraising campaign, “EMDR Therapy Saves Lives.” The goals are to 1) double the number of donors, 2) award grants totaling $300,000 and 3) build on our foundation in the EMDR therapy community. These goals are quite ambitious and are clearly driven by the significant need for EMDR therapy research.

High quality unbiased research guides and determines the standard of care of the treatment we provide. It provides a better understand of how best to treat our clients so they may find their life again or maybe find it for the first time. High quality research would provide empirical validation of the dramatic changes that occur in one’s life when treated with EMDR therapy. As well, understanding the neurological changes as a result of EMDR therapy would validate what clinicians know to be true. Comparison studies demonstrating EMDR therapy is equally or superior to other evidenced-based trauma treatments are in need of investigation.

These types of research projects are expensive, require many thousands of dollars and ones we are would like to support. High quality, random controlled trials are necessary for EMDR therapy to regain it’s recognition as a “strong,” valid and effective trauma treatment. As I wrote in my last newsletter the draft of the Clinical Guidelines for PTSD Treatment by the American Psychological Association has downgraded their recommendation of EMDR therapy to “weak" support. The unfortunate take-away is that high quality research trials are lacking to support EMDR's previous ranking of "strong" support. Therefore random controlled trials are vital to regain EMDR therapy’s recognition as a strong, evidenced-based trauma treatment.

Much rests on meeting our campaign goals this year! The mission of EMDR Research Foundation is to provide funding when no other sources will. We are grateful for our loyal donors and ask you to spread the word to your colleagues about your support.* For those of you still considering whether the Foundation is a worthy organization to support, now is the time to act.

It is somewhat ironic to announce our 2017 fundraising campaign “EMDR Therapy Saves Lives” and at the same time announce our newest fund "The Marcia Murray Memorial Fund: Dedicated to Research in Suicide Prevention and Survivor Support." In our September (Suicide Prevention Month) 2015 e-newsletter, our esteemed colleague and EMDR Research Foundation board member, Katy Murray wrote of her experience dealing with her oldest sister's death by suicide. Katy shared:

“Suicide Prevention Month leads me to wonder how the psychotherapy profession could have better helped my oldest sister who died by suicide 36 years ago; and how our family could have been more effectively helped after losing her in such a traumatic way. If it weren't for EMDR therapy, I would still be feeling permanently crippled by the devastating loss of Marcia. EMDR therapy, focused on the loss of my sister by suicide, resolved the confusion and guilt for me in a heartfelt way. More importantly and quite unexpectedly, it allowed me to reconnect to a deep sense of enjoyment of and gratitude for all the positive, rich memories of her and the time we had together. To this day, I continue to experience the positive benefits from those EMDR therapy sessions.”

It is time for clinical research to address the questions of how we can provide healing and support to those left in the wake of suicide attempts and loss by suicide. So many suicide prevention strategies focus solely on the acute crisis of suicidal thoughts and ideation – but don’t address the underlying helplessness, hopelessness, suffering, and powerlessness that prevents full engagement in life. We need to learn how therapy can prevent suicide by helping people to move from hopelessness to hope – and to be able to create and experience a life worth fighting for rather than needing to choose to use the ultimate “escape hatch” in life.

The EMDR Research Foundation is pleased to announce the development of "The Marcia Murray Memorial Fund: Dedicated to Research in Suicide Prevention and Survivor Support." This fund was initiated with a bequest from E.M. "Sandy" Murray as a way to memorialize his oldest daughter, Marcia, who died by suicide in 1979. At the time of Marcia's death, there was a lack of effective psychotherapy approaches for those at high risk of suicide. Strategies for those left in the wake of suicide were also inadequate. It was Sandy's wish that Marcia's life and the tragedy of her death make a positive difference in the world by helping those at risk of suicide and those impacted by suicide. All monies donated to this fund will be earmarked for research that investigates EMDR therapy with individuals at high risk of suicide and those who have been impacted by the trauma of suicide loss or exposure to suicide attempts.

The EMDR Research Foundation is grateful to Sandy Murray's generous bequest that has initiated this fund. By donating to this fund you will support EMDR therapy research in suicide prevention and survivor support, while supporting Sandy's wish to honor his oldest daughter's life. You will also honor our friend and colleague Katy, as she pays tribute to her sister’s life, her father’s request and promotes advancing our knowledge of EMDR therapy’s role in suicide prevention and survivor support.

*In closing, I want to remind you that the Foundation has two beautifully crafted posters you can display in your waiting rooms. This is a passive, yet powerful way to let your clients know a way to “pay it forward” for the benefits they received from EMDR therapy. Please download the poster files for printing. We would be most grateful for your help in spreading the word about the Foundation’s existence and mission.

“The more you praise and celebrate your life,
the more there is in life to celebrate.”
~Oprah Winfrey


To support it's mission and vision, the EMDR Research Foundation has established four mechanisms to fund research on EMDR Therapy: Doctoral Dissertation Grant Awards, Research Grant Awards, Research Consultation Awards, and Research Dissemination Travel Awards.



Funding and promoting scientific research is crucial to the advancement of EMDR Therapy and its positive impact on people’s lives. By supporting EMDR research, the EMDR Research Foundation is investing in the health and well-being of people everywhere.

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Whether you are a client, clinician, researcher, or have a loved one who might benefit from EMDR Therapy, we can provide answers to the most common questions about EMDR. Learn how EMDR Therapy works, what to expect during an EMDR session, and what problems can be treated with EMDR Therapy.

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EMDR Research Foundation

207 E. Ohio Street #430
Chicago, IL 60611

Contact Us

Phone:  630-296-4399

Email: info@emdrresearchfoundation.org

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